People suffering from advanced stages of cancer have to endure a lot of pain, misery and stress, even after knowing that death is certain. And during these days, patient's care cannot be managed at home.
'Karunashraya' is one organisation where cancer patients, in an advanced stage of the disease, are provided free palliative and continuing care.
“In 1995, the service was started by visiting the residents of cancer patients and offering home care in any part of Bangalore. This hospice trust was founded in 1999 as a joint project of the Indian Cancer Society (Karnataka Branch) and Rotary Club of Bangalore, Indiranagar. With generous support from corporate and individual donors, we have been able to provide home care and in-patient care to more than 10,000 patients. Our main goal is to provide peace and dignity at the end of life. We control the symptoms and make the patient realise the facts and the situation he or she has to face,” says Kishore S Rao, the Managing Trustee of Karunashraya (Karuna means compassion, Ashraya means shelter - together meaning Abode or shelter of compassion.
A visit to the centre clearly shows Karunashraya's effort in providing palliative care to these patients which is excellent and humane. Dr S Nagesh Simha, Chairman and Medical Director said, “Since its inception, the team has touched the lives of thousands of people, helping patients who are in need of psychological, physical, social and moral support. I sincerely appreciate the hard work of all the staff who step forward to help here. The mission is to lend a helping hand for advanced cancer patients to be comfortable, peaceful and free of pain till their last breath."
Nestled amidst sylvan surroundings of Marathahalli, Karunashraya, the Bangalore Hospice Trust is a calm and tranquil space.
The hospice' efforts continues to offer all round intensive care, to ensure quality of life.
It provides thoughtful touches and compassionate care, where in-patients are provided absolute concern, accommodation, nursing, food and medicines, all free of charge.
Nurse Rani, who has been with this organisation for five months now, explains, “Everyday, we come across patients with serious complications, yet we try to help them by giving proper medication and counselling and also ascertain what the patient has in mind like financial problems or something which is related to their family. Apart from that, spiritual help is also provided."
Rangamma (name changed), younger sister of a patient who is suffering from uterine cancer said, “We brought our sister 15 days back. The care given by nurses, doctor or counsellors cannot be measured in words. Even our own children would not have taken so much care. Hats off to the people who are rendering such services."
Manju, the only son of a mother who is in the advanced stages of lung cancer says, “My mother was brought here five days back after doctors in Kidwai and Ramaiah Hospital said there was no hope. The medical attention provided in salubrious and comfortable surroundings gives a great relief to the patients who are no longer in a curative condition. The nurturing and fostering concern is much better when compared to the other hospitals”.
Since medical cure for an advanced stage cancer patient is impossible, palliative care is offered by many of the hospice centres in Bangalore.
Karunashraya has successfully completed 13 years of dedicated service. Many health assistants and palliative care training programmes, seminars and workshops are conducted to educate and share knowledge on caring of such patients.